6 Web Design Mistakes You Should Avoid

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Designing the perfect website for your business is no easy task, but there are certain things that should be avoided at all costs. If you're guilty of some of these mistakes on your site already, it's probably time for some adjustments to be made.

6. Failing to be Clear About What the Site Does

World's worst website
Worst Website, Isn't it?

Image Via Flickr by Ebayk1d
Without a doubt, one of the worst mistakes you can possibly make when designing a website is not making it really clear exactly who you are and what you're all about. This often comes down to over design and a lack of foresight on the part of those who are designing it, as obviously they're already aware of what it's all about.
The simplest way to check for this problem is the "four second alien from Mars test." Would an alien from Mars be able to decipher what the site is all about in just four seconds? If not, you need to make things much clearer.
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5. Clutter Bug

The golden rule of web design is that clarity is key. Clean and simple designs reign supreme when it comes to creating a professional website, and the mistake many people make in the design stage is over complicating. You can make a cool, sophisticated, professional website without going overboard on the colors, fonts, background, and navigation features.

4. Navigational Meltdown

What’s the use in creating high quality web pages if nobody has a clue how to get to them or how to get back to a page that they were on 20 seconds ago. Navigation bars should be simple and buttons should be easy to understand. You may want to make your website stand out from the crowd, but creating cryptic link buttons is not the way to go.
Also avoid creating photo or picture links that are not clearly labeled as people will simply not know to click on it. Using sites such as webstarts.com will take care of this as the navigation options are always laid out just as you would want them. 

3. No Unique Selling Point

The likelihood is that you aren't the only website on the Internet that's doing what you're doing; in many fields, there are literally thousands of competitors offering the same thing. This is why creating a unique selling point is essential to differentiate you from the rest. Once you've decided upon your USP, make sure that it's splashed all over your website for everyone to see.
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2. Uploading an Entire PHD Thesis onto Your Homepage

There are many different schools of thought when it comes to SEO rankings and text length and placement. One thing is for sure, though: too much text on your homepage is going to send people to sleep, and they won't bother reading through it all. Be short, concise and engaging. You have to capture their attention and make them want to find out more about you and your services.

1. Unreadable Fonts and Colors

You can have just about any combination of fonts and colors on your website, but it's best to stick to just two main fonts and a simple color scheme if you want to create a cohesive and professional looking site. This doesn't mean it has to be boring, just don’t go overboard as it becomes very distracting.
As you can see, the most common web design mistakes are down to over complication and over design. There are a million and one tools out there, but you don’t need to use them all in one website! Take an outside perspective on your site and ask, is it doing what it's supposed to? Is it as efficient and effective as possible? If not, make some edits.